Freetown Christiania: Best Things To See and Do (Copenhagen)

O que fazer em Copenhaga: visitar Freetown Christiania.
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Freetown Christiania, known as Fristaden Christiania in Danish or simply the Free City of Christiania, is Copenhagen’s hippie and controversial district. Renowned for the legalization of drug sales and consumption, it is also a vibrant hub of urban art and music.

When it’s said that Christiania is a nation unto itself, it’s meant quite literally! Christiania is not part of the European Union or the Schengen Area. In practice, entering Christiania means entering a third country.

In fact, the Christiania community claims independence from Denmark and the European Union.

Now, for travelers heading to Copenhagen, there’s much to see and do in Christiania, from street art and music performances to impressive wooden structures.

Read on to explore Copenhagen’s most colorful neighborhood!

Best Things To Do and See in Christiania

Entrada na Cidade Livre de Christiania.
Entrance to Freetown Christiania.

What to see and do in Christiania? First and foremost, you need to know what you’re getting into when entering a place like Christiania. In other words, you need to be aware of what you might encounter in Christiania.

There are at least two entrances to Christiania, both properly marked from what I observed. By the way, these are the only photos you’re “allowed” to take, besides the sculpture of the wooden giant by Thomas Dambo, also located at one of the entrances.

Remember that people live in the area, so don’t behave as if you’re in a theme park.

The paths you can walk on are well marked, and there are closed gates that, of course, you shouldn’t cross without permission. It’s a matter of courtesy and common sense, not so much about the location but it’s worth a reminder.

Right at the entrance, you can see the wooden giant sculpture welcoming visitors. This is the most interesting area for those, like me, who appreciate urban art. I particularly enjoyed the graffiti on the walls and sculptures made from recycled materials in some gardens.

Then, on the main street, that’s where the hashish shops are, and everything is done quite explicitly. Cafes and bars are also in that area. You can browse through shops selling gardening supplies like pots and hoes, as well as handmade crafts.

When and How was Freetown Christiania Born?

Freetown Christiania, or simply Christiania, was established in 1971 in an area of the Christianshavn district in Copenhagen that had been abandoned after military use.

Some families seized the opportunity to live in the vacant houses.

Though without luxuries, they enjoyed a rule-free existence and didn’t have to pay for accommodation, as Christiania was an overlooked and disadvantaged area in Copenhagen.

In no time, other families and groups joined, creating, in an almost organic way, a hippie community with its own unique culture.

This included rules and norms agreed upon and respected by all members. And thus, Freetown Christiania was born

Cidade Livre de Christiania (entrada).
Freetown Christiania.

Where is the city of Christiania located?

Freetown Christiania is situated in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark.

It spans an area of 34 hectares, incorporating greenhouses, gardens, shops, restaurants, schools, and workspaces.

How to get there?

I simply walked from the center of Copenhagen, crossing the Knippelsbro bridge.

After the bridge, expect a journey of approximately 10 minutes. Although I saw some people cycling in the nearby streets, I didn’t see anyone cycling inside Christiania.

So, if you’re thinking of going to this area of Copenhagen by bike, inquire in advance.

How much time is needed to visit?

If you’re just walking around the neighborhood, that is, seeing what Christiania is like, one hour is enough. However, there are bars and cafes, some with terraces, if you want to extend your stay.

If you enjoy urban art, you can easily be entertained in Christiania for a whole day, as there are several murals and artworks scattered all over the place.

Believe me, it’s well worth spending a good couple of hours exploring the urban art there.

How many people live in Freetown Christiania?

It’s hard to be certain as there are no official data, but it is believed that currently, around 1000 people live in Christiania.

What is the sign that separates Freetown Christiania from the rest of Copenhagen?

There is a sign that “officially” marks the boundaries of Freetown Christiania, and it is easily identifiable as it reads: “You are now entering the European Union.”

What to visit nearby

War Museum, em Copenhaga.
War Museum, in Copenhagen.

While exploring this reagion, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the War Museum, strategically located between the city center and the bohemian district of Christiania.

The War Museum offers a compelling journey through Denmark’s military history, featuring an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays.

It provides visitors with insights into the country’s involvement in various conflicts and its military evolution.

Accommodation

This area is not typically recommended for finding accommodation in Copenhagen.

At least, this applies to the average visitor. Therefore, in terms of lodging, I recommend choosing a more central hotel, such as those marked on this map.

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